Archive | September, 2016

Scientists Develop New Satellite to Measure Arctic Ice Melt

30 Sep

Arctic ice melt reached June levels in May of 2016.

Every year the Arctic sees a melting season, where some of the sea ice melts due to increased temperatures and longer daylight hours. This is natural, but the ice has been melting faster in recent years that it used to. This year, Arctic ice melt reached levels in May that are normally seen in June. […]

A Quick Fall Vegetable Planting Primer

28 Sep

Fall garden crops

It’s pretty common for people to grow herbs and vegetables during the spring and summer. As the air gets crisp and frost sets in, most plants freeze and die. Many people don’t realize there are a variety of crops that can be planted in the fall. In fact, the cool weather even brings out the flavor […]

Stratospheric Wind Change has Scientists Concerned

26 Sep

The quasi-biennial oscillation changed for the first time in 60 years.

The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere between about 10 and 30 miles above the surface of the Earth. Over the tropics, there is an event called the quasi-biennial oscillation, which scientists have been observing since the 1950s. This event is actually pretty simple, every 28 months or so, westerly winds at the top […]

Nuclear Power Is Not Quite As Safe as We Thought

23 Sep

The safety of nuclear power is being questioned.

Nuclear power is always a contentious topic, with people on both sides adamant about the safety or danger of such power. Considering how much we have gained from nuclear power plants across the world, and how few notable accidents there have been, many are inclined to argue that it is safe and, in any event, […]

Canvas Bags Aren’t Eco-friendly Because We’re Using Them Wrong

21 Sep

Canvas shopping bags have become an everyday part of life. Many stores and farmers’ market vendors have stopped giving away plastic bags, expecting customers to bring their own canvas bags or selling paper bags for a nominal price. Some cities have banned plastic bags entirely. Plastic bags have become the enemy. But according to a […]

African Mud Helps Us Understand Ancient Climates

19 Sep

Sediments in Lake Malawi are helping us to understand ancient climates

Understanding climate change requires more than just looking at recorded data from the last 150 years. That data shows us that yes, the planet is warming and the climate is changing, but the more we understand about ancient climates and how the planet’s climate has changed, the better we can understand what is happening now. […]

The Ecological Possibilities of De-Extinction

16 Sep

De-extinction has possibilities for saving wildlife, but it needs some examination through the lens of science and ethics.

De-extinction, the process of recreating and reintroducing extinct species, may seem like science fiction, Jurassic Park comes to mind, but there is some real potential for the concept. Some scientists think that it is simply a matter of time before we are able to re-create extinct animals like wooly mammoths. While bringing mammoths and saber-tooth […]

International Project Underway to Reduce Cow Methane Emissions

14 Sep

Research to reduce cow methane emissions is currently underway.

In discussions about climate change, carbon dioxide gets a lot of the attention, but about 16 percent of the greenhouse gases created by human activity consists of methane, and about one-third of those methane emissions are produced by cattle. The roughly one billion cattle grazing at any given time on the planet create about 500 […]

Humanity’s Environmental Footprint Continues to Grow

12 Sep

Humanity's environmental footprint continues to grow despite efforts to reverse it.

A recent study by Professor Bill Laurance of James Cook University has found that humanity’s environmental footprint has impacted almost the entire planet. Only the most remote areas have not been directly impacted or changed by human activity, and 71 percent of ecoregions across the globe have seen a marked increase in human activity in […]

Mayan Water Management May Have Led to Their Demise

9 Sep

Mayan ruins in the city of Tikal. The Mayans may have disappeared due to poor water management.

The decline of the Mayan civilization after the 9th century has long remained, and likely will remain, a mystery. As with any such situation, there were likely a lot of factors, but one of them might have been water. Computer models developed at Technical University Wien in Austria have shown that Mayan water engineering may […]